I’m writing a day early because one of my grandbabies will be three on Wednesday, and we’re going to help her celebrate tomorrow. It’s hard having a birthday in December when sometimes your special day seems to blend in with Christmas and get overlooked. Or so my daughter-in-law says. Not Katie’s mom, but the other daughter-in-law. Carrie’s birthday is New Year’s Eve and she says she always hated it when the relatives said whatever they gave her for Christmas was for her birthday too. She wanted to have her own day. Katie, the almost three-year-old, is just now figuring out Christmas and birthdays so she’s probably going to feel good about presents two weeks in a row. It’s been a year of change for her anyway with the twins coming along to push her out of the baby spot, but she’s adjusting well and loves her baby brothers.
I’ve always thought it would really be hard having a birthday on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. My birthday’s in September, but I think if I had been born on Christmas, I would have wanted to celebrate my year and a half birthday in the middle of summer. What do you think? Any of you out there have a holiday birthday? Do you feel overlooked or do you enjoy the extra attention at holiday time?
I love birthdays. I might not like counting my own, but I do enjoy having them and count each one a blessing. And I enjoy helping others celebrate theirs – especially the kids. While I didn’t do anything really fancy for my kids on their birthdays when they were growing up, we did always celebrate with a cake or dessert of their choice and a family get-together. They blew out candles and opened presents and got older until now they have families of their own. And I have a lot more birthdays to help celebrate, but sometimes it has to be long distance and not in person.
The days are zooming by toward Christmas and I’m shopping and wrapping and writing cards like everyone else. But I’m also working on the idea for my new Shaker book. The characters are coming to life in my head and beginning to talk to one another. So that’s encouraging. Now if I can get my time line down on the history part I’ll be ready to start the journey again. That’s sort of what writing a book is like – going on a journey with your characters. Sometimes I’ll see a destination out there ahead, but the path isn’t always clear. I have to let my characters lead me along and show me what’s happening in their lives even as the path winds and twists and sometimes veers completely off the route I had thought they were taking. But a new destination and often a better one usually appears.
The second Shaker book, The Believer, is already out there on the internet for readers to pre-order. It won’t be out until next August, but some people have already been ordering their copies. That has astounded me, but it’s great to know some of you are anxious to read my new book. One surprise – the cover has been redone. It has the same background and the same Ethan. (Thank goodness. He’s a perfect Ethan.) But Elizabeth is different. I’ll be posting the cover on my website after the first of the year, so you can check it out then. So far the first cover is still up on Amazon and other bookselling sites.
You’ve still got time to get in on my book give-away for an autographed copy of Virginia Smith’s Stuck in the Middle and one of my books – your choice of The Scent of Lilacs, Orchard of Hope, Summer of Joy, The Outsider or Angels at the Crossroads. It’s fun to win something and all you have to do is comment here or send me an e-mail from my website, http://www.annhgabhart.com/. If you entered before and didn’t win, January might be your lucky month.
I know a lot of you will be going to Christmas pageants tomorrow or in the next week. I love shepherds in bathrobes with towels on their heads and wise men with presents wrapped in aluminum foil and angels with tinsel halos. I included a Christmas pageant in my book, Summer of Joy. My hope was that it would make readers smile and remember all the children’s pageants they have seen or taken part in. Seeing the children act out the story of the birth of Jesus is one of my very favorite things at Christmas. I hope you enjoy many favorite things this Christmas.
Talk to you Wednesday when it will be one week and counting. Hope to have my Christmas cards sent by then.